(The following post was originally posted on http://www.carlteglund.blogspot.com October 18 2006)
Three boats quietly slipped out of Reykjavik port some days ago. Their mission; to hunt minke whales for the first time in 14 years. Several international environmental organizations plus several other coutries, including Sweden, have condemn Iceland’s actions as provokative and unacceptable. And they are right!
This is indeed a retrograde step. I was in Iceland this summer and when visiting Vestmannaeyjar (south of Iceland) I went on these whale watching cruises, and I must say that it was faboulous. I mean, sure, market economy rocks! But do we really have the right to sentence an entire spieces to its full-scale extermination? I would say NO on that one!
Iceland’s whaling commissioner, Stefan Asmundsson, yesterday tried to justify the country’s decision to hunt 38 minke whales each year, saying that more data was needed to see how much fish they ate. I think that everyone can be able to say that’s just a cynical ploy!
Furthermore, if we see this in an economical point of view, Icelandic whale killing is just stupid! Iceland can make more money from whale watching than whale killing and should be doing all it can to protect those whales in its seas. Plus, Iceland, with its tiny population, is so vulnerable to consumer pressure. Up to 75% of its income is from fishing and its markets are strongest in the US, Germany and Britain, the three countries where anti-whaling sentiment is strongest. Recent polls in the US suggest more than 80% of people do not want to see whaling resume.
So stop killing your income bringing beautiful fatsos, Iceland! I don’t think you have the wallet taking the risk to continue with it!